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Associated Press - The larger-than-life figure that teased and tormented the Sacramento Kings for so long is now the biggest name to join the franchise's new ownership group.
The Kings announced Monday that Shaquille O'Neal has acquired a minority stake in the team under new owner Vivek Ranadive. The Kings will introduce the four-time NBA champion at a news conference Tuesday in Sacramento.
During the height of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, O'Neal fueled the rivalry with the Kings with his play on the court and his personality off of it.
O'Neal handed Sacramento its biggest blow by rallying the Lakers from a 3-2 deficit to win the 2002 Western Conference finals, which is still a sore spot for Kings fans. The 7-foot-1 center even labeled the franchise the "Sacramento Queens" and accused fan favorite Vlade Divac — whom he referred to as "she" at one point — of flopping.
O'Neal was a 15-time All-Star and the 2000 NBA MVP. He played for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers before retiring after the 2010-11 season with the Boston Celtics.
O'Neal, now 41, has worked as an analyst for TNT the last two seasons.
O'Neal is the latest high-profile former player to join the Kings this summer after the franchise nearly moved to Seattle. Hall of Famer Chris Mullin was hired as a consultant to Ranadive — who bought the franchise from the Maloof family in May — and Mitch Richmond is part of the ownership group.
The group includes 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, who is friends with O'Neal. The two partnered in the past to build several gyms, especially in South Florida during O'Neal's time with the Heat.
The Pac-12 Conference has officially reprimanded and issued other sanctions against the officials who worked the Arizona State-Wisconsin game for their actions at the end of the contest.
The Pac-12 did not elaborate on the other sanctions.
With 18 seconds remaining and Wisconsin driving for a possible game-winning field goal, quarterback Joel Stave moved the ball to the center of the field, touched his knee to the ground and then placed the ball on the turf.
That’s when chaos ensued.
READ MORE: Y! Sports
What an opening week of college football.
It had all the trappings of late-season drama with that new season smell. If you were asleep, in a cave or just didn’t care about the start of the college football season, here’s what you might have missed:
The reigning Heisman Trophy winner served a half-game suspension, then talked trash to a couple Rice players, got benched, disrespected his coach, got banned from interviews and has caused several former college coaches/players to talk about what a terrible person he is and how much they’d like to hurt him.
READ MORE: Yahoo! Sports
College football fandom can be a lot like love, especially when the fandom spans family generations. That said, crying over losing the first game of the season may be just a little overboard, even if your team has just suffered a huge blow to its National Championship hopes.
Georgia fan Tyler called into the postgame show on 92.9 FM in Atlanta Saturday night after the Bulldogs had lost to Clemson 38-35 to share his grief. Grief that got him all choked up when he continued about his desire to see coach Mark Richt fired.
While rash, fans getting riled up over a coach's job security after a big loss is nothing new. With senior quarterback Aaron Murray and a talented offense (now minus Malcom Mitchell), Georgia fans had huge hopes for the season after coming so close to beating Alabama in the SEC title game. Those BCS hopes may have taken a hit, but those SEC title hopes are still intact and Georgia could take a huge step back to the SEC title game with a win over South Carolina Saturday.
With the unpredictability of college football, an undefeated SEC season keeps Georgia in the mix. Because of that, don't you think it's a bit early to be shedding tears?
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Brian Banks can say he did it.
Banks was released by the Falcons today as NFL teams cut their roster down to 53-players by Saturday. He still has a chance to be signed by another NFL team. If Banks showed enough potential this preseason, one team, including the Falcons, could sign him to their practice squad. Being on a practice squad would give Banks at least a year to get back into football shape and compete for a roster spot next season.
No matter what happens, Banks fulfilled his dream to be on an NFL team.
“I’ve been fully consumed in making this team, trying to catch up on all these years I missed in football,” Banks told AJC.com last night after Atlanta's 20-16 loss against Jacksonville. “My learning curve was definitely different from a lot of guys here. I was learning a lot of one-on-on basic things in football, as well as the intermediate things in football and meshing it all together at once over a small period of time. It was definitely challenging but, overall, I enjoyed myself immensely.”
Banks was falsely accused of rape when he was a high school star, ruining his chances to play for University of Southern California. He went sent to prison for five years, then placed on probation for five years after his 2007 release. Banks had to register as a sex offender and could not live within 2,000 feet from any school or park. He also had to keep a GPS device around his ankle to ensure that he did not leave the state.
However, Banks was finally exonerated in May 2012 after his accuser contacted him on Facebook and recanted her story.
Instead of being bitter, Banks expressed his appreciation to teammates after Atlanta’s preseason finale last night:
Brian gave a speech last night to the team that had some vets on the verge of tears, about appreciating every second on that field— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) August 30, 2013
Glazer added that Falcons owner Arthur Blank was so impressed with Banks, they are trying to to place him in a career opportunity in Atlanta around the team.
We will never know what may have happened if Banks’ life had not been derailed years ago.
However, we do know Banks finally made it to the NFL, even if that journey ends today.
Here is what Banks posted on his Instagram account as she attended her first NFL game last night:
"After 5 years in prison, 5 years missing her child, 10 years we struggle... Mom look at us NOW! Thank u God. You NEVER left us. Because we never left you. I've already won! No matter what , Mom we did it. We are free. #RISEUP"